Ulster Americans, Irish Lace and Holistic Gardening…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 29th of August 2023.

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Ulster Americans, Irish Lace and Holistic Gardening…

Céad míle fáilte, welcome to your Letter from Ireland “Shorts”.  Each Tuesday we’ll bring you a quick-read of some of our favourite and interesting Irish things for this week.

Ulster American Folk Park, County Tyrone.
 The picture above may look like straight out of the American frontier, but it’s actually a recreation of a homestead of some of the first settlers from Ulster. This amazing museum lets you step back in time and across continents. Go here to watch Carina speak to “Mrs. Devine” in her 1880s Tyrone cottage on youtube.

Our Irish surname of the week is Mellon. Thomas Mellon founded one of the largest banks in the US but was born near Omagh in County Tyrone. His family home is now the centre of the Ulster American folk park shown above. Mellon is derived from Malone which itself translates as ‘follower of St. John’. The Malone’s were closely linked with the O’Connors of Connacht and many Malones ended up as abbots and bishops at the abbey of Clonmacnoise. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on Johngrenham.com

“The Holistic Gardener” by Fiann O’Nualláin. It’s a handy, pocket-sized guide. This Irish published book teaches you how to make your own teas, salves, and syrups from what you may have in your garden or pantry. It’s simple, convenient and a great read. I promise you’ll enjoy it!” See the book on Amazon here.


Tús maith leath na hOibre
(pronounced “Too-as mah lah na hibbra“)

Which translates to “A good start is half the work”.

Click here to listen to the pronunciation.

Would you agree?


Carrickmacross lace is a proud County Monaghan business that creates beautiful pieces of lace. It’s a craft practiced in Ireland since the 1820s and they have developed a wonderful reputation. They sell many beautiful pieces in their online shop including this lace-making kit.

Carrickmacross Lace

That’s it for this week. Send us an email with any of your own favourites for inclusion in future emails, or if you’re a plus member leave a comment below.

Slán for now,
Mike & Carina.


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